Striker Gurjant Singh says lockdown has helped India's team bonding before Olympics

Gurjant, who has played 47 matches for India, said staying together in a bio-bubble for nearly a year helped the team improve its bonding ahead of the Tokyo Games.

Gurjant Singh also said he feels the experiences of recent tours will help India in the Olympics, scheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8.   -  FILE PHOTO/BISWARANJAN ROUT

Staying together in a bio-bubble for most of last year helped in team bonding and building understanding among players before the Tokyo Olympics, feels Indian men's hockey outfit striker Gurjant Singh.

Gurjant has so far played 47 matches for the national side.

"We all have been together at the camp since one year, and I don't think any other team would have spent this much amount of time together during the lockdown," he said.

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"I feel that is one of the plus points that everyone has been together for such a long time," Gurjant added.

Focussed on the upcoming Olympics, he said the team has been working as a unit.

"After the nationwide lockdown ended we never stopped training. We kept working hard and kept on communicating with each other throughout the time spent together. I think it has built a natural understanding among us and because of that, the team has been working as a unit.

"... That's one of the big reasons behind our successful tours to Europe and Argentina," added Gurjant, who was part of the overseas trips.

He said the hunger to perform at the top level paid dividends in the recent tours.

"We all had that hunger to perform, to put in all our preparations to test, especially against a quality side like Argentina.

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"We were really excited to be back. We were in a fresh frame of mind, and I feel that really helped us in gaining momentum on the tours." The Amritsar-born player feels the experiences of recent tours will help the world number five side in the Olympics, scheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8.

"It's a plus point that we got a chance to play against Germany, Great Britain and Argentina at this crucial juncture. We not only got to know about our strengths and weaknesses but also about theirs.

"We got to know about their style of play. Hence, I feel this experience will really help us compete against them at the Olympics," said Gurjant.

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